Inspiration to Keep on Living

Tiny - Posted on 26 February 2011

A.C. Thompson

June 2000

In a world where optimism is hard to come by, Trent was the embodiment of hope. A couple weeks back I figured: a guy with such a huge talent, with such sharp intellect will undoubtedly pull himself from the depths of despair. The streets that have devoured so many of my friends won't get this one, I thought.

Trent, I assumed, would use words to skewer the demons that chased him. He'd teach us all a lesson in personal fortitude. He'd be tougher, stronger, more compassionate, smarter for his days on the streets -- a Nietschian hero who once dwelled in the maw of darkness. Like Lee Stringer, the soul-touching New York writer who wrested himself from a decade in the clutches of crack, Trent would tell the world his story, and his words would send shivers through us. Harpo would thaw out some of our frozen dreams, fuel us with inspiration to keep on living.

Knowing him put a wry -- yet earnest -- smile on my face and a warmth in my heart.

But the story is cut mid-sentence -- I now add Trent to the list of friends who killed themselves. (Even if he didn't, on that day, mean to off himself.)

And like all of us, I ask what I could've done, lambaste myself, get Catholic about it.

And I am uglier and angrier, my fingernails digging crescents into my palms.

And I look at my comrades who are still with us and try to appreciate them a little bit more.


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